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And you are staid for. There ;
[Laying his hand on Laertes' bead,
Lair. Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
'tis situated. Besides, it is a dragging idle expletive, and seems of no use but to support the measure of the verse. But when we come to point this paffage right, and to the Poet's intention in it, we shall find it neither unnecessary, nor improper, in its place. In the speech im. mediately preceding this, Laertes taxes himself for staying toc long; but seeing his father approach, he is willing to stay for a second llerfing, and kneels down to that end: Polonius accordingly lays his hand on his head, and gives him the second blessing. The manner, in which a comic actor behaved upon this occasion, was sure to raise a laugh of pleasure in the audience: and the oldest quarto's, in the pointing, are a confirmation that thus the Poet intended it, and thus the stage exprefs'd it. VOL. VIII.
Pol. The time invests you ; go, your servants tend. (12)
Op. 'Tis in my mem'ry lockt,
[Hamlei, 'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late Given private time to you ; and you yourself Have of
audience been most free and bounteous.
tenders Of his affection to me.
Pol. Affection! puh! you speak like a green girl,
you believe his tenders, as you call them ?
Pol. Marry, I'll teach you ; think yourself a baby, That you have ta’en his tenders for true pay, Which are not iterling. Tender yourself inore dearly; (13) Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
(12) Tbe time invites you, --] This reading is as old as the first folio ; however I suspect it to have been substitnted by the players, who did not understand the term which poffefses the elder quarto's :
Tbe time inveits you, i. e, besieges, presses upon you on every fide. To invest a town, is the military phrase from which our Author borrow'd his metapbor.
(13) Tender yourself more dearly;
Wronging it thus, you'll iender me a fool.] The parenthesis is clos'd at the wrong place; and we must make likewise a Night correction in the last verse. Polonius is racking and playing on the word tender, till he thinks proper to correct himself for the licence ; and then he would say, not farther to crack the wind of the phrase by twisting and contorting it, as I have done, &c,
Wringing it thus) you'll tender me a fool.
Ops. My Lord, he hath importun’d me with love, In honourable fashion.
Po'. Ay, fashion you may call't: go to, go to.
Oph. And hath giv’n count'nance to his speech, my With almost all the holy vows of heav'n. [I ord,
Po'. Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know, When the blood burns, how prodigal the foal Lends the tongue vows. These blazes, oh my daughter, Giving more light than heat, extinct in both, Ev'n in their promise as it is a making, You must not take for fire. From this time, Be fomewhat scanter of your maiden-presence, Set your
intreatments at a higher rate, Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet, Believe so much in him, that he is young; And with a larger tether may he walk, Than may be giv'n you. In few, Ophelia, Do not believe his vows ; for they are brokers, (14)
Not (14) Do not believe bis vows; for they are brokers;
Breathing like fančtified and pisus bonds,
Tbe better to beguile.] To the same purpose our Author, speaking of vows, expreffcs himself in his poem, callid, the Lover's Complaint.
Saw, how deceits were guilded in his smiling;
Knew, rows were ever brokers to defiling :: But to the passage in question : tho' all the editors have swallow'd it implicitly, it is certainly corrupt; and I have been surpriz'd, how men of genius and learning could let it pass without lome suspicion. What Ideas can we form to ourselves of a brearbing bond, or of its be. ing fan&tifed and pious ? The only tolerable way of reconciling it to a meaning without a change, is to suppose that the Poet intends, by the word bonds, verbal obligations, proteftations: and then, indeed, these bonds may, in fome fente, be said to have breath. But this is to make him guilty of over-training the word and allufion; and it will hardly bear that interpretation, at lealt not without much obfcurity. As he, just before, is calling amorous vows brokers, and imploiers of unholy suits: I think, a continuation of the plain and natural sense directs to an easy emendarion, which makes the whole Stought of a piece, and gives it a turn not unworthy of our Poet,
Breathings like janeiified and pious bawds,
Not of that die which their investments shew,
so fander any moment leisure,
SCENE changes to the Platform before the Palace
Enter Hamlet, Horatio, and Marcellus.
Hor. it is a nipping and an eager air.
Hor. I heard it not: it then draws near the season,
[Nuis of warlike musick withir.. What does this mean, my Lord ?
[rouse. Ham. The King doth wake to-night, and takes his Keeps wassel, and the swagg’ring up-spring reels; And as he drains his draughts of Khenith down, The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out The triumph of his pledge.
Hor. Is it a custom ?
Brcker, 'tis to be observ'd, our Author perpetually uses as the more modest synonymous term for bawd. Besides, what strengthens my correction, and makes this emendation the more necessary and probable, is, the words with which the Poet winds up his thought, ibe better to beguile. • Jt is the Ny artifice and custom of bawds to put on an air and form of fan&tiry, to betray the virtues of young ladies; by drawing them first into a kind opinion of ihem, from their exteriour and dissembled goodness. And bawds in their office of treacbery are likewise properly brokers; and the implorers and prompters of unboly (that is, uncharte) suits : and so a chain of the same metaphors is continued to the end.
I made this emendation when I publith'd my SHAKESPEARE ReBor'd, and Mr. Pope has thought fit to embrace it in his last edition.
Ham. Ay, marry, is't: But, to my mind, though I am native here, And to the manner born, it is a custom More honour'd in the breach, than the observance. This heavy-headed revel, east and weit, (15) Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations; They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase Soil our addition ; and, indeed, it takes From our atchievements, though perform’d at height, The pith and marrow of our attribute. So, oft it chances in particular men, That for some vicious mole of nature in them, As, in their birth, (wherein they are not guilty, Since nature cannot chufe his origin) By the o'ergrowth of some complexion, Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason; Or by some habit, that too much o'er-leavens The form of plausive manners; that these men Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect, (Being nature's livery, or fortune's scar) Their virtues else, be they as pure as grace, As infinite as man may undergo, Shall in the general cenfure take corruption From that particular fault. The dram of Base (16) Doth all the noble substance of worth out, To his own scandal.
Enter (15) This beavy beaded revel, cast and weft.) This whole speech of Hamlet, to the entrance of the ghost, I set right in my SHAKESPEARE Restor’d, ro shall not trouble the readers again with a repetition of those corrections, or justification of them. Mr. Pope admits, I have given the whole a glimmering of senle, but it is purely conjetural, and founded on no authority of copies. But is this any objection againft conjecture in Sbakespeare's case, where no original manuscript is sube fifting, and the printed copies have fucceffively blunder'd after one another? And is not even a glimmering of sense, so it be not arbitrarily impos’d, preferable to flat and glaring nonsense ? If not, there is a total end at least to this branch of criticism : and nonsense may plead title and prescription from time, because there is no direct avthority for dispofseffing it. (16)
The dram of ease Doth all the noble substance of a doubt To bis owon fcandal.] Mr. Pope, who has degraded this whole speech,